Exactly one year after his Tour de France stage win in Redon on July 4th, Independence Day, American rider Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) was keen on finally getting back to his winning ways in a stage destined to conclude with a bunch sprint on the streets of Rouen, France. It wasn't to be, however, as Farrar was one of the victims of the huge crash that occurred near the front of the peloton within the final three kilometres of stage 4.
"I was right in the thick of it," said Farrar. "Everybody was fighting for position and guys don't want to hit the brakes. Crashes happen, that's how it goes in sprinting.
"I don't think I'm seriously injured. I don't feel well but I don't think I've broken anything."
Being included in that crash instead of being one of the few riders who avoided it seems to be Farrar's destiny nowadays. On Tuesday he was taken down in a crash during the nervous roller coaster ride on the winding roads and hills towards Boulogne-sur-Mer. Farrar wasn't seriously injured but something hit him between the legs. It's a showpiece example of the bad luck he has been encountering ever since his Tour de France win last year.
Since earning his first Tour de France stage victory last year Farrar has failed to clinch any another individual wins since (Farrar was part of two team time trial wins in the Tour of Qatar and Giro d'Italia earlier in 2012). While Farrar didn't do any specific sprint training in his build-up for the spring Classics earlier this season, since then he's fine-tuned his finishing kick for the Grand Tours.
"I'm still a sprinter. I'm not afraid of men like Mark Cavendish," Farrar said.
On Thursday, in the stage from Rouen to Saint-Quentin, there's probably a new opportunity to claim victory. When asked about Tour de France stage 5 Farrar reacted in a way that reveals quite a bit of the way he feels right now.
"Hopefully I can stop falling down."